In a barrel

February 10, 2017 2:11 am Published by

It’s true, I’ve always wanted to photograph surfers in a barrel

We Are All American Beauty

January 3, 2017 2:35 am Published by

If you are concerned about the upcoming inauguration of Donald Trump please save the date for The Other Inaugural Ball–an art event in protest and a call for community action in Portland, Maine on January 21, 2017.

This event will take place over the weekend of the Presidential Inauguration and will feature poetry readings by award winning poets; a spoken word open mic slam; art exhibitions at3+ galleries; dance performances by Hi Tiger, the Sudo Girls, and the Theater Ensemble of Color; an interactive theater workshops with The Angle Project from NYC; and a keynote address by community activist Fatuma Hussein. We are coming together to support one another and to reimagine a future through greater connection and hope.

All this will culminate in a DJ dance party with 32French at the Maine Charitable Mechanics Hall on Saturday January 21 at 7pm.

We want you there. Save the date for The Other Inaugural Ball.

For updated info please go

Greetings For The New Year

December 13, 2016 10:28 pm Published by

To be whole. To be complete. Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from.”

Terry Tempest Williams


In the wake of the election…

November 11, 2016 7:38 am Published by

There is a plain unbroken prairie of open sea, lined and rippled with myriad smiling trails of minute undulations, dark and sombrous and profoundly calm, over the dead below — smooth as a tombstone.”
— From Journal of the Photographic Society, February 21, 1857

Upcoming Exhibition

August 25, 2016 6:46 am Published by

Her Wave

An exhibition of unique tintype photographs by Joni Sternbach

Von Lintel Gallery 

Opening reception: Saturday, September 10, 6-8PM

2685 S. La Cienega Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90034

September 10 – October 29, 2016

Noordelicht Photo Festival, extended through August 14th

July 14, 2016 12:48 pm Published by

I am so pleased to be part of this exhibition in Holland which has been extended through August 14th:


Noorderlicht Photofestival returns to Museum Belvédère in Heerenveen for the Noorderlicht Photofestival 2016. For ARENA twenty-one artists have been invited from around the world, showing with their respective images a part of the bigger story.
We live in a time when our global culture has subordinated nature. It has become almost impossible to experience unspoilt land, no matter how far we direct our gaze. What remains once humanity and its thirst for action have left the stage, in search of ever greener pastures? With ARENA Noorderlicht casts a forensic look at the traces left behind in the landscape.

The 2016 Noorderlicht Photofestival will take place at Museum Belvédère and outdoor areas in Heerenveen/Oranjewoud. The Museum is situated on the Oranjewoud estate, with splendid gardens and water features and a rich cultural history. NOTE: PART OF ARENA IS EXTENDED – by popular demand – UNTIL 14th AUGUST!!

The Memory of the Future at Musée de l’Elysée

May 24, 2016 3:26 pm Published by

I m so pleased to be included in this provocative exhibition at the Musée de l’Elysée.

The Memory of the Future. Photographic Dialogues between Past, Present and Future, the Musée de l’Elysée encourages contemporary artists to take a close look at photography as a medium, innovates as it reveals a 3D digitization technology developed by Artmyn, a spin-off from Lausanne’s Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), and displays its unique visual heritage.

The exhibition opens up a dialogue between the work of the pioneers of photographic techniques (the past), those of contemporary artists that breathe new life into these skills (the present), and avant-garde technologies that update these early processes (the future).

Works from the museum’s collections, contemporary artists and new technologies come face to face and join forces to give a brand new vision of the history of photography.

A book covering the exhibition is also available


Tatyana Franck, Musée de l’Elysée, assisted by Lydia Dorner and Emilie Delcambre


The Women And The Waves 2

April 27, 2016 6:48 pm Published by

I’m stoked to have been part of the new film, The Women And The Waves 2, by Heather Hudson. Here’s a fabulous clip of us making the group tintype portrait.

Next Screening in Santa Barbara, California

Music* Films* Benefit for Heal the Ocean
Saturday, May 21 * 6pm * Tickets available online:

If you’re in Santa Cruz, CA the film will be screening Saturday, May 7th at Sawyer Land and Sea Supply.

AIPAD 2016

April 7, 2016 1:16 pm Published by

Image: 15.09.13 #6 Elephant Guns, Hossegor, France 8×10 inch Unique Tintype 2015, From the series Surfland

New large format tintypes from the series SURFLAND at AIPAD, Rick Wester Fine Art, Booth 102.

April 14-17, 2016

Park Avenue Armory

643 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10065

Show hours: Thursday-Saturday 11-7 and Sunday 11-6 PM

harris fohel aipad

Installation photo courtesy Harris Fogel

PechaKucha Night Friday, March 11th

March 7, 2016 10:54 am Published by

The Parrish Art Museum in Southampton hosts a PechaKucha only a few times a year. Artists, designers, chefs, gardeners, writers and storytellers all gather together to tell their story with words and pictures in 6 minutes and 40 seconds. Join us on Friday, March 11th from 6-8PM. I’ll be there! For tickets, click here.



November 24, 2015 3:45 pm Published by

Aloha friends! This year, several of my tintypes will be traveling with Rick Wester Fine Art to Miami for the PULSE contemporary art fair. If you are in Miami, please do stop by! The fair is recognized as a platform for both established and emerging galleries to present their artists to an international audience, and also provides an exciting environment for visitors to discover new work by some of the most compelling contemporary artists today.

This year, the fair will be open to the public from Tuesday, December 1st – Saturday, December 5th. For visitor information and ticket pricing, click here.

My tintypes will be shown in booth N-209, though I do encourage you to really explore all of the fair.

The Women and The Waves 2

November 19, 2015 11:26 pm Published by

Last week I was in Paris, but before that I flew to Santa Barbara to photograph a group shot for the new Women and The Waves film by Heather Hudson. We came together from points east, west, north and south, meeting at the beach on a beautiful Saturday in November.

This image was made with an 11×14 camera.



November 16, 2015 7:50 pm Published by

This tragedies of this past week’s events put an end to so many lives and our best laid plans. It’s with a heavy heart and great sadness that my visit to this incredibly beautiful city ended so abruptly. Stay strong Paris.

Upcoming Book Signing

October 28, 2015 6:14 pm Published by

I’m delighted to announce that I will be having a book signing at Paris Photo Grand Palais this year. I will be signing copies of my newest monograph, Surf Site Tin Type, which is now in its second printing. If you happen to be in Paris, please stop by the fair to say hello and pick up your copy. The Grand Palais, a beautiful building in the heart of Paris, is located near the Louvre museum, at the Avenue Winston Churchill.

This year, over 140 galleries from 33 countries will exhibit photographic work spanning time, medium, and location, showcasing the versatility and breadth of photography. Many galleries will have small exhibitions of select photographers’ work, while other foundations will host artist talks and lectures, signings, and photo-book awards. While the fair’s full list of programming certainly is exciting, I hope that you can join me at the Damiani booth EE19 on Saturday, November 14th, at 4PM. 

I look forward to seeing you there!



October 25, 2015 4:05 pm Published by

Yesterday I was listening to The Last Cowboy Song on youtube and because there’s no moving images, they presented a slide show where I came across this image. It reminded me of a tintype I shot last year in California. What do you think, was I channeling an age old tradition of cowboy dreams?

A Handmade Book

August 23, 2015 11:54 pm Published by

Many years ago I bought a handmade book with an antique tintype of a woman embedded into the cover. I intended to turn the book into a photo album of my pictures or maybe even my father’s. However, as I assessed the pictures in my archive and my fathers, I found none that I deemed worthy of this book with a beautiful cover. It remains blank to this day. The tintype on the cover beguiled me with the importance and meaning of a portrait. I did not know when I discovered this book, that I would one day be making tintypes myself.

The art and craft of making wet-plate collodion, tintypes is elaborate and dirty work. The silver nitrate used to sensitize the plates can oxidize on your skin and form a dark brown stain. The process is a finicky one that necessitates patience, experience and a touch of luck to make a good plate. It requires a portable darkbox or tent to sensitize and develop your plates in while on location. Your plates are the same size as the back of your camera, so if you want large plates, you must have a large camera.

The tin is coated with collodion (a mixture of gun cotton, alcohol and ether) and poured by hand on to your plate. It’s then sensitized in a bath of silver nitrate for several minutes. Once that’s done it’s placed into the back of the camera and it’s ready for exposure. Exposure times are guesstimated, and because the process is a wet one, the speed of the medium is very slow. My exposures range from ½ second to minutes, depending on subject matter, lens and light.

The next step is development, which is done in the dark box. Once developed and rinsed, the plate is taken out of the dark box and into the daylight where it’s fixed. This is the moment of excitement and discovery. As the plate is submerged into the fixer bath it transforms right in front of your eyes. It goes from looking like a bluish negative to becoming a positive image on blackened metal…in essence, a tintype.

This dark art, the craft of collodion is like old-fashioned magic. There are potions and elixirs that stain your fingers and have a strong smell. There is a dark box with a cloth of mystery and enchantment. There is a feeling of anticipation and exhilaration as each plate emerges from the fixer. The sense of collaboration is palpable, as my subjects and I both wait for the image to clear, to see if we each held up our end and made a good picture.